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Conclusions to be drawn from the COVID-19 crisis

31.07.2020 11:36

Fedil

Yesterday, FEDIL had a meeting with the Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our way of working, with particular emphasis on the indispensable nature of digital tools and their multiple fields of application.

Indeed, the COVID-19 crisis has acted as an accelerator of the digital transformation forcing companies to reorient their operations to cope with office closures, restricted travel and supply disruptions. For some companies, this meant adopting electronic invoicing, making greater use of electronic signatures, using online banking, moving from B2B to a direct-to -consumer model, or using virtual streaming to replace meetings, conferences and events. As businesses and individuals deal with the new measures, more productive ways of doing the same work are emerging and it is becoming clear that digital tools are opening the door to a wide range of uses.

In its note analyzing the impact of this digital transformation affecting several areas, FEDIL made recommendations to adapt the digital roadmaps of both business and government. The priority topics discussed during the interview with the minister were telework, the implementation of 5G and the idea of creating a science and technology park near Belval.

The necessary recourse to telework during the health crisis has shown that it has advantages and benefits, but also challenges and limitations. Thus, it would be desirable to maintain the possibility of using telework on the basis of the principle of double voluntariness. It 1s also a question of drawing the right conclusions from this experience in terms of employment relations, taxation and social security.

In view of the rapid development of tele-activities such as tele-medical consultations or tele-training, and their success during the crisis, their continuation would be desirable. In this context, FEDIL also calls for an acceleration of "eAdministration" projects and for the further development of 100% online administrative procedures.

In terms of infrastructure and in order to assert Luxembourg's position as one of the digital pioneers in Europe, it would be necessary to take advantage of the momentum and concentrate efforts in the  employment of the 5G network. An integral part of an ambitious recovery plan, it will bring new functionalities offering new perspectives in the fields of connected objects (IoT) and Industry 4.0.

Finally, in order to best prepare for the country's economic recovery, investment in public and private research is essential. One idea to bring together public and private research actors would be the establishment of a technology and science park, particularly near the Belval campus. FEDIL proposes to collaborate with the Ministry of the Economy for the development of the concept of such a technology park.